Reviews

Brimstone Bound (Firebrand #1) by Helen Harper @TantorAudio

Featured Image - Firebrand 1 - Brimstone Bound by Helen Harper - Read by Ruth Urquhart

Hello, fellow audiobook listeners. It’s day 29 of 🎃31 Days of Halloween🎃 my version of #Blogtober. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts about Brimstone Bound written by Helen Harper and narrated by Ruth Urquhart. The first audiobook in Helen’s urban fantasy series, Firebrand.

My thanks to the publisher, Tantor Media, for the audiobook in exchange for a candid review.

What’s Brimstone Bound about?

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Brimstone Bound (Firebrand #1) by Helen Harper @TantorAudioMy Rating:
Title: Brimstone Bound by Helen Harper
Series: Firebrand #1
Published by Tantor Audio on 3rd September 2020
Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Ruth Urquhart
Length: 7 hours 48 minutes
No. of Pages: 264

A werewolf killer. A paranormal murder. How many times can Emma Bellamy cheat death?

I’m one placement away from becoming a fully-fledged London detective. It’s bad enough that my last assignment before I qualify is with Supernatural Squad. But that’s nothing compared to what happens next.

Brutally murdered by an unknown assailant, I wake up 12 hours later in the morgue - and I’m very much alive. I don’t know how or why it happened. I don’t know who killed me. All I know is that they might try again.

Werewolves are disappearing right, left, and centre.

A mysterious vampire seems intent on following me everywhere I go.

And I have to solve my own vicious killing. Preferably before death comes for me again.

©2020 Helen Harper (P)2020 Tantor


Source: ARC

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.

Review Format: Audiobook
Purchase Links: Amazon* ¦ Audible*

Or, read for free using your Kindle Unlimited subscription! 💜 🥳 💜

Listened To: 28th September – 5th October 2021

What did I think about it?

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Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

A Good Detective Story – Looking Forward To The Next Tale!

I’ve only got one other title by Helen Harper on my shelf (The Noose of a New Moon). I like her writing style; it feels well researched and natural. The supernatural world that Helen has created is a rich, fantastical tapestry that still feels real and believable. I enjoyed Helen’s pacing and the twists and turns in the plotline. The banter in this story was really good; it felt natural and had me smiling and chuckling out loud quite a few times. 😘

There’s a varied selection of characters in this story.

I liked the personalities Helen created to go with each of the main characters. There are some wonderful ones that warmed my heart and some others that I really enjoyed hating.

An unusual protagonist – a trainee detective with plenty of gumption.

I was unconvinced about Emma Bellamy as a police detective at first. She’s intelligent but at times she isn’t “smart.” I mean, her knowledge of the world in general and that of the supernaturals was sadly lacking. Her actions and thoughts felt too naive for someone in the police force. However, the Degree Holder Entry Programme to become a MET detective constable that Emma is on is real!

Emma finds herself on a steep learning curve in this story,

I shelved my frustrations, hoping that Emma would quickly learn the skills necessary to be a good police detective. I listened to how she dealt with the challenges that sprung to confront her. It was a sharp learning curve with a long way to go. However, I’m looking forward to seeing Emma grow and develop and become the fantastic police detective that I know she has the potential to become.

Ruth Urquhart is a new-to-me narrator.

Ruth did a good job pulling me into the story and I liked the pace she read at. Her performance personified Emma’s personality. The emotions and inflexions that Ruth used for the different scenes felt natural and brought them to life. She created different voices for the various characters that matched their personalities to a tee. I never felt lost when multiple characters were in conversation.

Brimstone Bound is a good audiobook and a tempting introduction to the series.

It’s a great example of a character-led urban fantasy story. I’ll be adding the next audiobook – Infernal Enchantment – to my library as soon as my pennies allow. I want to find out what case Emma takes on next and whether she better adapts to her position in London’s supernatural community.

Has my review of Brimstone Bound encouraged you to find out more? I bet it has! Click on any of my links to check it out yourself.

Keep reading to find out more about Helen Harper. But first, let me share some info about this series.

Firebrand by Helen Harper

Emma Bellamy is on the Degree Holder Entry Programme to become a detective constable for London’s MET. She’s assigned to Supernatural Squad as her final placement. A placement she has to complete before she can become a fully-fledged detective.

But Supernatural Squad is turning out to be a far more life-changing placement than Emma expected.

Each book in this urban fantasy series sees Emma faced with a new crime to solve – which she does with her growing knowledge and experience.

Books in the Series

  • Brimstone Bound (Firebrand #1) (2020)
  • Infernal Enchantment (Firebrand #2) (2020)
  • Midnight Smoke (Firebrand #3) (2020)
  • Scorched Heart (Firebrand #4) (2021)

Amazon* ¦ Audible*

Now as promised, here is Helen Harper’s bio and social media links.

About Helen Harper

Author - Helen Harper
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time although she still fits in creative writing workshops with schools along with volunteering to teach reading to a group of young Myanmar refugees. That’s not to mention the procession of stray cats which seem to find their way to her door!
Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.
"From almost the moment I learnt to read, I fell in love with the escapism provided by those genres. No matter how bad life gets, you can always find a route out, even if only temporarily, in the pages of a good book."
The growth of urban fantasy fascinated her - the mix of reality and fantasy along with strong heroic female characters appealed from the very beginning, and inspired her to write her own. No-one is more astonished or thrilled than her that her characters have found an audience and that her books have achieved average reviews of 4 to 5 stars on Amazon and GoodReads.
Helen currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere!

And because this is a review for an audiobook, here is Ruth Urquhart’s bio and links too.

About Ruth Urquhart

Narrator - Ruth Urquhart

Ruth Urquhart trained at East 15 Acting School and has spent the last twenty years working as an actor in theatre, film, TV, and education.

She is an Audible Approved Producer and has narrated over 100 titles. Among many other things, she has toured internationally and appeared in an Irish sitcom Give My Head Peace and the feature film Puckoon. She runs her own theatre company and is a published playwright (Tea with Mrs Pankhurst). Her forte is character work, and she has an excellent ear for accents.

A native Scot, she was raised in Scotland with English parents; she quickly became bilingual in English and Scottish accents, speaking in an English accent at home and a Scottish one at school. She loves narrating audiobooks and has recorded a wide variety of genres requiring all sorts of different characters and dialects. She lives in Yorkshire, England, with her partner, two children, and an array of animals.

Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read my thoughts about Brimstone Bound. Have you read this one or any others by Helen Harper? Are there any of Ruth Urquhart’s narrations in your collection? Drop a comment below so we can compare notes. 😉

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My love of audiobooks has grown over the last few years. Before you go, check out my Audiobook Challenge 2021 page!

Bye for now

Flora x

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About Me

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog - www.florasmusings.com

(3) Comments

  1. […] A vampire in it ✅ Brimstone Bound […]

  2. What a nice review. Those covers are gorgeous!

    1. Flora says:

      Yes they are. I’m hoping to listen to the next one this month.

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